Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Falls on the Road in First SAC Contest


JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- The Catawba Lady Indians fell behind early and a comeback effort came up short as they dropped a 79-71 South Atlantic Conference decision to Carson-Newman Wednesday night at the Eagle’s Holt Fieldhouse. After its third-straight defeat, Catawba stands at 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the SAC while the Eagles improve to 5-1 and 1-0.

Senior point guard Jolysa Conner (Charlotte, NC/Waddell HS) paced the Lady Indian attack with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting while snagging four steals. Nisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day HS) contributed 14 points and dished out seven assists while freshman Mallory Clay (Lansing, NC/Ashe County HS) had a career-high with 13 points and three steals.

After facing a nineteen-point deficit at halftime, Catawba slowly whittled away at the Eagle’s lead getting to within 69-63 on a three-pointer by Long with 1:33 remaining. Six points would be as close as the Lady Indians would get the rest of the way as Carson-Newman hit 7-of-12 free throws to hold on to the win.

Down 43-22 early on in the second half, Catawba went on a 13-0 run to jump back into the thick of things. Clay hit a trifecta off an assist from Long, then a couple of possessions later made a layup, off her own steal, and a jumper to cut the margin to eight at 43-35.

Carson-Newman would respond with a three-pointer and a layup on the other end by the Eagle’s Shannon Depew. That was the Eagle’s only made shot from behind the arc in the second stanza while the Lady Indians connected on seven of them as Long and Clay had two apiece.

Catawba dug itself a 10-0 to start the game on six turnovers while only attempting two long range shots. Whitney Moody and Courdne Miles benefitted from the Lady Indian miscues as each had a couple of layups for the Eagles during the early run.

The Lady Indians would creep back into the game at 26-20, but Carson-Newman counter-punched with a 13-0 run to close the half as Catawba wound up shooting just 24% in the first 20 minutes.

Zoriah Williams led the Eagles with 18 points and three steals. Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day HS) pulled down 10 rebounds for the Lady Indians and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line, but was limited to just six attempts from the field in the loss.

Catawba has its first SAC home game of the season on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Lincoln Memorial.

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